Friday October 30, 2020 6:09 PM

Court dashes Kalu’s hope, rejects his request for post-conviction bail

Orji Kalu’s hope was dashed on Monday as a Federal High Court in Lagos rejected his application for post-conviction bail.

Justice Mohammad Liman ordered Kalu to remain in correctional services custody pending the outcome of his appeal against his conviction.

The judge held that there was no valid ground for granting the application, The Nation reports.

Kalu, who was convicted on December 5, 2019, applied for bail on December 17, 2019, on the grounds of ill-health and the need the represent his constituency at the Senate, where he is Chief Whip.

He told Justice Liman, when he applied for the bail, that he was battling serious health challenges that the medical facilities in the correctional centre could not handle and that he needed to seek the services of his traditional medicine practitioner.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) opposed the bail application and the court adjourned till yesterday for ruling on it.

At the commencement of ruling yesterday, the court held, among others, that Kalu did not prove that the diseases he mentioned were contagious, as he claimed in his application.

On the ground that the bail would enable the ex-governor to represent his constituency in the Senate, the judge held that his constituents knew that he was on trial and still voted him into power.

Regarding his claim that the appeal might be delayed, Justice Liman held that developments had broken past records on that.

He said: “It is not in dispute that there are practice directions involved in an appeal. But in recent times, these practice directions have been enhanced for speedy hearing and determination of high profile corruption cases. “I believe the applicant can take advantage of these rules to run through the appeal channel. “I found nothing in favour of the applicant in this application; it is, therefore, discountenanced.”

A Director of Finance and Accounts at the Abia State Government House during Kalu’s tenure, Udeh Udeogu, and Kalu’s firm, Slok Nigeria Limited, were also convicted on December 5, 2019.

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